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BTCC newcomer Simon Belcher completes first Avensis test

Belcher completes first Avensis test

British Touring Car Championship newcomer Simon Belcher had the first test in his newly-acquired Toyota Avensis on Wednesday.

Belcher, who confirmed his plans to graduate to the BTCC from the Renault Clio Cup last month, drove the Speedworks Motorsport-prepared car at Silverstone.

ECU issues hampered the 39-year-old in the first damp session, but thereafter he was able to get several runs in the dry.

"It's been a brilliant day, it was everything I expected", said Belcher, who will compete under the Handy Motorsport banner.

"I'd never even sat in a touring car before and we weren't a million miles away by the end, so I'm really pleased.

"We made some good progress and I really enjoyed working with the Speedworks guys for the first time.

"I wondered how the speed of the car would feel and compare to the Clio I've been racing the past two years, and the touring car does have so much more power. What needed getting used to the most, though, was the brakes - you really have to stand on them.

"The more aggressive you drive a touring car, the smoother it feels, so you really have to grab it by the throat to get the most out of it. That's different to what I've been used to with the Clio and something to work on over the winter."

Fellow BTCC newcomer, ex-British F3 champion Marc Hynes, is due to have his first run in a Triple Eight MG6 at Brands Hatch on Thursday.

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